Several years from now, we will point to May 12, 2011 as the date Michigan began its economic turnaround. That’s when the Michigan’s legislature voted to end the Michigan Business Tax and replace it with a new, simple, fair corporate income tax.
Michigan is expected to go from having the 48th worst business tax system in the nation to the 22nd best, according to the Tax Foundation. Simply put, it makes Michigan’s business climate more comparable to the state’s we most often compete with for jobs. But that’s not all. The legislature also ended the days of double taxation on small and medium-sized businesses.
Of course, taxes aren’t the only thing that influences where jobs are created. There are literally dozens of factors that determine economic growth in Michigan. But taxes do matter. The states growing jobs and incomes the fastest are places where both their tax rates and costs for doing business are generally much better than Michigan.
Even though small and medium sized businesses will benefit most from these tax changes, Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s largest employers, enthusiastically support them. Like you, we work here, live here and raise our families here. We want a state that is financially healthy and growing – a state that offers good jobs and bright futures for our children and grandchildren.
While the turnaround has begun, we have much work ahead. It took Michigan nearly fifty years of stagnant or negative growth to get to the point we find ourselves in today. To become a “top ten” state again for jobs and economic growth, we can’t just do as well as the average state – we must do better and we must do it quickly. In short, we must build a new Michigan.
The path to a new Michigan requires the commitment to continually improve our competitiveness and take advantage of our distinctive assets. A new Michigan requires us to adopt Governor Snyder’s call to reinvent government so we get more value for our tax dollars. But it also calls on us to create a place that we aspire to live in – one that takes advantage of the things that make us unique to once again become a leader among the states, such as our natural resources, technical talent and geographic location.
Michigan’s turnaround isn’t going to happen overnight. It will take much more hard work. But, as of May 12, 2011, we are finally on the right path.